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Here’s the Best Painting Class in NYC

Here’s the Best Painting Class in NYC

Too often, I’ve found myself strolling through MoMA, claiming, “I could do that.” The Jackson Pollack splatters. That one white canvas painted...white. I think it’s also called “White.” So when Vimbly asked me to explore the best possible painting classes in NYC, I jumped at the opportunity to prove my worth. But, as someone who struggled finger-painting growing up (I don’t like to get dirty), I needed a basic introduction into the world of painting.

Of all the vendors I tried, Painting Lounge offered the best painting class in NYC. Not only was the instruction fantastic, but also Painting Lounge helped me understand, even more so, why these paintings are so highly regarded, and why those white, “elitist” images are a bit more challenging than my abecedarian mind had anticipated.

In this class, our instructor, Julie, had us paint a replica of Gustav Klimt’s “The Tree of Life.” The class was small and intimate. It seemed like a great way to meet new people. Supposedly, there’s a BYOB policy, but, for this class, it wasn’t in effect. Sad!

When I reached the canvas, I noticed that Painting Lounge operates off a “Paint by Number” curriculum, which basically means that there’s a simple trace on the canvas to help guide you through the painting. Some people may not like this, but I found it extremely helpful due to my inability to even paint stick figures. Also, have you seen tree of life, with all the branches and roots jutting into every direction? There’s so much going on that I don’t even know how you’d paint a replica without the trace.

The class itself is like Kindergarten for adults: relaxing and social atmosphere, smocks, somebody licks the green paint and blames it on Justin (just kidding, there was no Justin in our class). We learned basic color theory and how to mix paints. For me, mixing colors needed a thorough explanation because my technique generally involves turning a canvas into a greenish, brownish, vomit-like hue. Still, it was fascinating to explore the nuances behind each shade of brown Klimt used. I mean, there are about fifteen different shades of brown alone, none of them apply to the Crayola settings of “brown sugar,” “sweet brown,” or “nutmeg.”

We painted and learned simultaneously. Many of the students veered away from Klimt’s original style and opted to explore their own artistic inclinations. I thought about it for a second until I realized my own artistic inclinations only involved an entirely dark brown canvas entitled, “Dark Brown Canvas.”

Following the lead of Julie and the traced canvas, I actually produced a painting that I semi-liked. It resembled Klimt’s original work, to some degree, without any noticeable overpainting. Overpainting is kind of like plastic surgery. You take something that looks okay, but you continuously try to improve it, resulting in a hideous over exaggeration of the original work.

Painting Lounge offers to frame your work for $35. I decided against it and took it home to be displayed simply on my wall.

Overall, the class was a blast, and I met a few interesting people along the way. It’s fun, social, and relaxing. I learned more about painting in this two hour workshop than I did in any art class I took growing up. While my painting wasn’t anything to brag about, it may have the potential to actually impress someone. That’s more than I could say two weeks ago. This is definitely a place I’ll return, hopefully, with a bottle wine in hand.

Keep it up Painting Lounge!

**Oh, and for those of you “never go” to Brooklyn, Painting Lounge is literally across the street from the Lorimer stop on the L, which is only five stops from Union Square. It takes longer to get to the Upper West Side.